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Reception Ideas

Is it tacky to have a tip jar for your bartender?

we are having an outdoor wedding that will only be serving beer/wine/champagne/soda and we are going to hire someone to bartend and clean up the glasses and bar after. We only have $75 to give them for it. The bar will be free to guests but is it rude to have a tip jar for the bartender?

PS: santa barbara is a really expensive town and i dont feel like $75 is enough for a good bartender.
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Re: Is it tacky to have a tip jar for your bartender?

  • Yes, it is very very tacky.  All gratuities and tips are to be paid for by the 2 of you.  Your wedding isn't until September so I would think you could find someway to up the 75.00.  Don't eat out, skip Starbucks, no movies, etc.  Pocket change adds up fast!  One of our girls just moved out of Santa Barbara and yes, it is very expensive, but you need to plan what you can afford.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    It is rude to put a tip jar for the bartender.  Guests should never be asked to open their wallets when you are hosting them.

    You're right, $75 seems low for a bartender.  You should tip him/her appropriately at the end of the night.  
  • Thank you so much for your advice.You assume im not doing that already. but in truth my life right now is working 6 days a week, working out and planning this wedding. we dont go out, we dont have date nights and i dont even have enough time to sleep let alone hangout with anyone. as it is we have made the budget from $7,000 to $10,000. i know thats not a lot but that what we can afford. thank you for your opinons. i will just find a way to add yet another $100 that i dont have. If i sound off im sorry. it just feels like every where i turn hundreds of dollars seems to be adding on. I was just thinking that people could tip if they wanted to or they could just not tip if they did not have it or didnt want to. but i dont want to be rude so i wont do it. Thanks again! 
  • Unless your venue requires a licensed bartender, I'd just put bottles of beer and cans of soda in coolers and have the wine out (w/ back ups of the white and champagne in coolers) with the glasses and let guests serve themselves like at a house party.   Then hire someone for $75.00 to deal with the glassware and dishes at the end.  No tipping required. =) 

    I went to a wedding that had self-serve beer, wine, and soda (they had a bartender in a separate area for mixed drinks) and it worked out great.  And it REALLY cut down on lines.


  • Thank you NOLAbridealmost. Thats a really good idea. we are having a small wedding of about 50 so this might work out. hmmmmmm. At lest i feel like i have an option and not just drowned in money issues lol. :)
  • Our bartended quoted us 2 prices, with and without a tip jar.  We felt like a tip jar was tacky and paid the higher price.  That said, she did get quite a few tips handed to her.  My sister helped out some and she said our bartended came out good on tips.  I had no problem with people giving her tips just with the tip jar.  I felt like a jar would indicate that tips were expected and they weren't.
  • Around here (southside of Chicago) I have been to weddings at venues with an open bar that the bartenders put out a tip jar. The same at my sons wedding in GA last fall. I'm not sure how this would be any different?
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_is-it-tacky-to-have-a-tip-jar-for-your-bartender?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:4820756f-1ff8-414b-a823-806171214783Post:ea354b42-5b1d-4ab4-b07e-443e0a02b488">Re: Is it tacky to have a tip jar for your bartender?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Around here (southside of Chicago) I have been to weddings at venues with an open bar that the bartenders put out a tip jar. The same at my sons wedding in GA last fall. I'm not sure how this would be any different?
    Posted by Cookies Mom[/QUOTE]

    <div>It's not different.  These wedding hosts were rude to have tip jars out.  </div>
  • My venue requires that we allow the bartender to have a tip jar so I hope not everyone feels its as rude as the previous post!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_is-it-tacky-to-have-a-tip-jar-for-your-bartender?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:4820756f-1ff8-414b-a823-806171214783Post:c5219644-11dc-4224-a9cc-124a6bb1b31c">Re: Is it tacky to have a tip jar for your bartender?</a>:
    [QUOTE]My venue requires that we allow the bartender to have a tip jar so I hope not everyone feels its as rude as the previous post!
    Posted by soupy76[/QUOTE]

    Why do they require it?  I would seriously look into ways to get it removed like telling them that you will take care of the tipping (x% of the bill) and do not want to be embarrassed by that jar being out.
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  • I went to a really fancy, expensive wedding once and didn't bring my wallet into the reception. When I got to the bar, there was a giant tip jar in plain sight. I reluctantly ordered my drink, feeling guilty that I had no money to tip because I figured the presence of the tip jar indicated the hosts weren't paying the bartenders enough.

    I found out later that the money from the tip jars was going to charity. I felt even WORSE about not having given anything.

    Don't make your guests feel awkward and guilty.
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  • When our last DD got married we paid for most of the vendors but she and her DH contracted the bartender.  During the reception I noticed there was a tip jar out and asked the coordinator to ask them to remove it.  Unfortunately, SIL contracted for the price with a tip jar instead of paying the tips himself so we were stuck.  I am still of the belief that those who host cover all the tips.
  • Im the kinda person that feels a tip is gratitude of a job well done, be it a housekeeper, bartender, waiter or waitress. if you have a tip jar or not, if the bar tender deserves a tip, they are getting one, tip jar or no tip jar. if anythinng the jar probably makes it easier for them to constanly have people handing them cash and spare change.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_is-it-tacky-to-have-a-tip-jar-for-your-bartender?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:4820756f-1ff8-414b-a823-806171214783Post:98522e47-5b06-4192-97a6-27386326cf34">Re: Is it tacky to have a tip jar for your bartender?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I went to a really fancy, expensive wedding once and didn't bring my wallet into the reception. When I got to the bar, there was a giant tip jar in plain sight. I reluctantly ordered my drink, feeling guilty that I had no money to tip because I figured the presence of the tip jar indicated the hosts weren't paying the bartenders enough. I found out later that the money from the tip jars was going to charity. I felt even WORSE about not having given anything. Don't make your guests feel awkward and guilty.
    Posted by Ali092011[/QUOTE]



    Great example as to why tip jars shouldn't be present.
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  • edited May 2012

    I'm not with the majority on this one.  Tips are not mandatory, so the presence of a tip jar does not mean each of your guests need to tip.  People are hosting your dinner and drinks all night and suddenly they are rude because you have the opportunity to throw down a dollar to an employee?  Give me a break.  People who will tip will do so with or without a tip jar.  People who won't, won't, with or without a tip jar.  I don't believe a tip jar is rude in any way.  It never ceases to amaze me how often the word "rude" is thrown around on these message boards.

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  • I've been to quite a few weddings/parties in the Chicago area.  I only went to one wedding where there wasn't a tip jar.  I never knew it was "improper" to have one.  And it was akward that there wasn't one because I didn't know where to leave my tip.  People were handing the bartenders money directly. 
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  • your guests have the option to tip regardless of if there's a tip jar or not. in my area no bar is anything but open, top shelf. people always tip the bartenders. it's an OPTION for the guest to tip and has nothing to do iwth paying or not paying for a drink.

     

  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_is-it-tacky-to-have-a-tip-jar-for-your-bartender?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:5Discussion:4820756f-1ff8-414b-a823-806171214783Post:682249c1-464d-4ee1-b394-5c1b1ce682f5">Re: Is it tacky to have a tip jar for your bartender?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I'm not with the majority on this one.  Tips are not mandatory, so the presence of a tip jar does not mean each of your guests need to tip.  <strong>People are hosting your dinner and drinks all night and suddenly they are rude because you have the opportunity to throw down a dollar to an employee?</strong>  Give me a break.  People who will tip will do so with or without a tip jar.  People who won't, won't, with or without a tip jar.  I don't believe a tip jar is rude in any way.  It never ceases to amaze me how often the word "rude" is thrown around on these message boards.
    Posted by Simply_Caitlin[/QUOTE]

    <div>No, they are not rude because they give the option to tip.  People always have the option to tip.  It is rude that the host is putting the duty to tip on the guest rather than paying the tip themselves.  </div><div>
    </div><div>Asking your guests to pay for anything at a hosted event is rude.  I don't know why this would be amazing to you.  Hosting your guests is the very basic foundation of wedding manners.  </div>
  • kaos16kaos16 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer

    I have always tipped bartenders at any wedding I have been to.  Some have had jars, some have not, but I have always tipped regardless.

  • klboasklboas member
    10 Comments

    Most weddings that I have been to have had tip jars and it doesn't bother me at all.  I think I would base it off the type of person you are and the type of people you're inviting.  I assume our bartender would have a tip jar (honestly never thought of asking) and like us most of our guests are casual people that think that all the wedding etiquette is nice to have as a guideline, but its more important that the wedding fits your personality and budget.

    schweetiee
  • I have never seen a tip jar at a wedding and thought it was rude this is crazy! As for the person who commented on my prior post that we need to make the venue remove the tip jar or pay the bartender more the bartenders are employees of the venue and are being paid by them not us they are making their usual hourly rate which is one of the reasons I do not see a problem with the tip jar. How are we suppose to know at the end of the night if the bartender "deserved" a tip or not????

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_reception-ideas_is-it-tacky-to-have-a-tip-jar-for-your-bartender?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:5Discussion:4820756f-1ff8-414b-a823-806171214783Post:3660e582-e3c5-42ce-829e-1108926b1e7c">Re: Is it tacky to have a tip jar for your bartender?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Is it tacky to have a tip jar for your bartender? : No, they are not rude because they give the option to tip.  People always have the option to tip.  It is rude that the host is putting the duty to tip on the guest rather than paying the tip themselves.   Asking your guests to pay for anything at a hosted event is rude.  I don't know why this would be amazing to you.  Hosting your guests is the very basic foundation of wedding manners.  
    Posted by MyNameIsNot[/QUOTE]

    Having a tip jar does not mean you are asking your guests to pay the tip.  Like I said, the jar doesn't make people tip.  Those who will do it with or without the jar, and those who won't, won't.  Period.  She already said she had money set aside for the bartender and not a small amount either.  I think it's terrible how often people are called "rude" here.
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  • Every wedding I've been to has had a tip jar. I never really thought about it, it's just expected that bartenders are tipped not becauseof the bg, just assumed that it's done. After reading this, I don't want a tip jar, but I also think its weird to hand cash to a bartender if there's no where else to put it. What should I do? Put a "no tiping allowed" sign? only half kidding with that
  • Emilleclaire a lot of the posters on this thread found no problem with a tip jar and I have been asking people at work their thoughts on this as well and not one person thought it was rude! Don't put up a sign and have a tip jar if you saw no issue with it prior to reading this post. Everyone here is entitled to their opinion and you don't have to follow their lead either way.

    IMO Tips do not have anything to do with whether the bartender is being paid enough! T.I.P stand for "to insure promptness" and tipping bartenders and waiters/waitressses is an accepted practice most everywhere. Following the logic of some posters should the happy couple hunt down the bellhops at the hotel where guests are staying, the cab drivers that bring guests from the airport, etc. and tip them so that guests don't "Pay" for anything? Tipping is how appreciation is shown to those whose job it is to provide service, it is not paying for service.
    schweetiee
  • Wait staff, including waitresses and bartenders, make their livings off of the courtesy of others. Although some do not understand why tipping is so important, please keep in mind some people support their families by serving others. If service is attentive, respectful, and pleasant, why not take care of them too? Guests are of course not forced to tip at any restaurant or occasion, but it is polite to. After all that one bartender is taking care of the people you love the most, your friends and family. Why would you keep someone who is working hard to serve you and your loved ones from making a few extra dollars? While your taking pictures, they serve. While your dancing, they serve. While your having a nice meal, they serve. Most places pay bartenders less than minimum wage. It doesn't get compensated for without a tip jar. Tips are a necessary. Please tip. Where ever you are. Every dollar counts for servers in that industry.
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited May 2014
    Wait staff, including waitresses and bartenders, make their livings off of the courtesy of others. Although some do not understand why tipping is so important, please keep in mind some people support their families by serving others. If service is attentive, respectful, and pleasant, why not take care of them too? Guests are of course not forced to tip at any restaurant or occasion, but it is polite to. After all that one bartender is taking care of the people you love the most, your friends and family. Why would you keep someone who is working hard to serve you and your loved ones from making a few extra dollars? While your taking pictures, they serve. While your dancing, they serve. While your having a nice meal, they serve. Most places pay bartenders less than minimum wage. It doesn't get compensated for without a tip jar. Tips are a necessary. Please tip. Where ever you are. Every dollar counts for servers in that industry.

    1. This thread is 2 years old. 2. The servers are usually tipped by the host at the end of the event or as part of the venue package.

    Knottie63696799    Because if this newb resurrected this zombie thread and never sees the comments, it will annoy me. 
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  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    Wait staff, including waitresses and bartenders, make their livings off of the courtesy of others. Although some do not understand why tipping is so important, please keep in mind some people support their families by serving others. If service is attentive, respectful, and pleasant, why not take care of them too? Guests are of course not forced to tip at any restaurant or occasion, but it is polite to. After all that one bartender is taking care of the people you love the most, your friends and family. Why would you keep someone who is working hard to serve you and your loved ones from making a few extra dollars? While your taking pictures, they serve. While your dancing, they serve. While your having a nice meal, they serve. Most places pay bartenders less than minimum wage. It doesn't get compensated for without a tip jar. Tips are a necessary. Please tip. Where ever you are. Every dollar counts for servers in that industry.
    No way in hell would we have allowed a tip jar out at our venue.  Our package included a hefty tip for all the employees.  Now, if a guest still wanted to give a tip, that's their choice.  But there wasn't going to be a tip jar displayed encouraging even more of a tip.  The bartenders and servers were well taken care of.
  • MyNameIsNotMyNameIsNot Atlanta member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Wait staff, including waitresses and bartenders, make their livings off of the courtesy of others. Although some do not understand why tipping is so important, please keep in mind some people support their families by serving others. If service is attentive, respectful, and pleasant, why not take care of them too? Guests are of course not forced to tip at any restaurant or occasion, but it is polite to. After all that one bartender is taking care of the people you love the most, your friends and family. Why would you keep someone who is working hard to serve you and your loved ones from making a few extra dollars? While your taking pictures, they serve. While your dancing, they serve. While your having a nice meal, they serve. Most places pay bartenders less than minimum wage. It doesn't get compensated for without a tip jar. Tips are a necessary. Please tip. Where ever you are. Every dollar counts for servers in that industry.
    You are absolutely right that servers and bartenders must live off tips.  Guests are always welcome to tip servers and bartenders, jar or not.

    Sometimes, the bartender will make out ok with a tip jar, sometimes they make $1-2 per drink order (usually less than 10%).  A responsible, decent host will tip the bartender 20% of the entire bar tab at the end of the night.  

    Even after 2 years, it's still rude for the hosts to push this responsibility off on the guests.  



  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited May 2014
    Wait staff, including waitresses and bartenders, make their livings off of the courtesy of others. Although some do not understand why tipping is so important, please keep in mind some people support their families by serving others. If service is attentive, respectful, and pleasant, why not take care of them too? Guests are of course not forced to tip at any restaurant or occasion, but it is polite to. After all that one bartender is taking care of the people you love the most, your friends and family. Why would you keep someone who is working hard to serve you and your loved ones from making a few extra dollars? While your taking pictures, they serve. While your dancing, they serve. While your having a nice meal, they serve. Most places pay bartenders less than minimum wage. It doesn't get compensated for without a tip jar. Tips are a necessary. Please tip. Where ever you are. Every dollar counts for servers in that industry.
    The wedding itself is not a restaurant.  The hosts are paying, presumably with a contract, that outlines a gratuity for the wait staff, so there is no need for tip jars at a wedding.

    Nor should the guests at a wedding ever be expected to pay for anything at the wedding out of their own pockets, and that includes tips.
  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    Zombie thread but I can't... look... away...

    I'm required to tip 22% on my bar and food tab. My guests better damn well not feel pressured into giving another dollar. The servers are being WELL taken care of by my hosting. 

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